Saturday, June 12, 2010

In Memoriam--Dana Key: Thank You for Leading the Charge

Hey Everybody,

About 30 years ago, I was a young teen sitting at an outdoor concert on youth day at what was then known as "Silver Dollar City" (now Dollywood) in Sevierville, TN. I was waiting to see my favorite Contemporary Christian duo, DeGarmo and Key. I had opted out of roller coasters with my friends in order to get a good seat, and I did! I was right up front, and the only other person there early was a gentleman I considered "elderly" (In hindsight, I would say he was around 50, LOL), wearing a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and socks with sandals. I had  thought one of us might possibly be waiting at the wrong stage, but I stayed in my seat hoping that I was indeed at the DeGarmo and Key show.

I was, and it was so exciting to see them in person! I had been waiting for weeks to see the show, and they did not disappoint! I was such a huge fan of this music that dared to defy the convention of the day--despite the controversy, it was really all about Jesus, and I knew it was! Curiousity got the better of me as I watched the old man next to me jammin' out, and I finally asked him, "Sir, why are you here? Do you really like this music?"

With eyes twinkling above a proud smile, he pointed to the stage at Dana Key and said, "That boy up there is my son." Ohhhh. I get it.

DeGarmo and Key were radical Christian musicians. They poured into my life and my generation never even knowing the difference they made. And what I didn't realize then was that these Christian musicianaries who dared to do something different for Christ in order to sing a new song and reach a new generation for Him were paving the way for groups like DCTalk and Barlowe Girl, Skillet and Relient K, who paved the way for my favorite band, DANYA.

When Dana Key passed away suddenly this week, he died leaving a legacy like no other. His band, DeGarmo and Key, led over 100,000 kids to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ over their 20 years of ministry.

Dana, thank you. I am a life that was changed.

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